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Founding Collection

The Founding Collection reflects the distinctive vision of museum founders Charles and Emma Frye and celebrates late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century European and American art. The children of German immigrants, the Fryes became prominent business leaders and patrons of the arts after settling in Seattle in 1888. Their collection of 232 oil paintings, almost half of which features German artists, was formed during the years around 1900. Charles and Emma Frye developed their passion for art at the Columbian Exposition, a world's fair held in Chicago in 1893. The experience had a great influence on the painterly subjects and artists the couple would collect in years to come. Over the next four decades, the Fryes acquired paintings while traveling abroad in Europe and from auctions, most notably those of American collections formed by Hugo Reisinger and Josef Stránský. The Fryes famously hung their paintings floor to ceiling, salon style, in a specially built gallery space attached to their home on First Hill. Beyond Germany, the Fryes collected works by artists from Austria, Denmark, England, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, and the United States. Highlights include works by two generations of artists from Munich—those of the Münchener Künstlergenossenschaft (Munich Artist’s Association) such as Franz von Defregger, Franz von Lenbach, Wilhelm Leibl, and Friedrich August von Kaulbach—and artists who formed the Munich Secession including Ludwig Dill, Hugo von Habermann, Otto Hierl-Deronco, Franz von Stuck, Wilhelm Trübner, Fritz von Uhde, and Heinrich von Zügel. Other notable works include paintings by Eugène Boudin, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Lillian Genth, Gabriel von Max, and Mihály de Munkácsy. The Founding Collection continues to serve as a catalyst for artistic inquiry at the Frye Art Museum in exhibitions that reframe its works and history through a lens of contemporary scholarship.

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Title Artist Medium Date
Child with a Brown Hat   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Pigment and varnish on pressboard  ca. 1905 
Child with a Brown Tam O'Shanter   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Dry pigment and varnish on paperboard  ca. 1905 
Children by the Sea   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Pigment and varnish on pressboard  n.d. 
Children with a Ball   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Pigment and varnish on pressboard  ca. 1904 
Children with a Bird's Nest   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Dry pigment and varnish on paperboard  n.d. 
Children with a Bowl   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Dry pigment and varnish on paperboard  ca. 1912 
Countess Leoni Wedel   Lenbach, Franz von   Oil on cardboard  1902 
Courtyard   Liebermann, Max   Oil on panel  ca. 1882 
Dancing Girls in the Garden--Bacchanalia   Kaulbach, Friedrich August von   Gouache on canvas  1899 
Dans la vallée (In the Valley)   Lhermitte, Léon-Augustin   Oil on canvas  1910 
Dans les bois (In the Woods)   Bouguereau, William-Adolphe   Oil on canvas  1905 
Das Bilderbuch I (Picture Book I)   Uhde, Fritz von   Oil on canvas  1889 
Die Kleine Tirolerin (The Little Tyrolean)   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Pigment and varnish on pressboard  n.d. 
Die Römer der Verfallzeit (Romans of the Decadence)   Feuerbach, Anselm   Oil on canvas  ca. 1850 
Die Sünde (Sin)   Stuck, Franz von   Tempera on canvas  ca. 1908 
Dipping Sheep   Johnson, Charles Edward   Oil on canvas  1890 
Dordrecht, The Cathedral   Boudin, Eugène   Oil on panel  ca. 1885-89 
Dordrecht, the Meuse seen from Swandrecht   Boudin, Eugène   Oil on canvas  1879 
Drei Tannen in Schloss Hemsbach (Three Fir Trees at Castle Hemsbach)   Trübner, Wilhelm   Oil on canvas  1904 
Dressing the Children   Geffcken, Walter   Oil on cardboard  ca. 1913 
Drove of Swine: Evening Effect   Knaus, Ludwig   Oil on canvas  1878 
Ducks in Green Water   Koester, Alexander Max   Oil on canvas  ca. 1910-13 
Dutch Woman and Child   Neuhuys, Albert   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Ecstasy   Lenbach, Franz von   Oil on canvas  1903 
Eleonora Duse   Lenbach, Franz von   Oil on canvas  1886 

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